Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gond Glyphs

The illustrations below were scanned from 'Signature - Patterns in Gond Art', edited by Gita Wolf, Bhajju Shyam & Jonathan Yamakami (published by Tara Books).

These are not specifically the patterns mentioned in the book title; rather, they're the inch-wide miniatures or glyphs included on the pages facing the artists' patterns. In fact, the pattern pages are themselves details from these glyphs. So these drawings of animals and trees and so on are each artist's visual explanation for the origin of their individual signature patterns.

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traditional indian tribal art - Gond

Indigenous Gond Art illustration (Tara Books)  001

"The Gonds are one of India's largest indigenous communities, and art is central to their lives. It is a Gond belief that viewing a good image begets good luck. Originally painted on walls and floors, Gond art has since found its way to paper and canvas. [..]

Their subject matter extends from myths and legends to images of daily life - not only which exists, but also much that is drawn from dreams, memory and imagination. [..]

The singular, most striking thing about these patterns - or 'detailing' as it is known among the Gonds - is the fact that each artist has invented his or her own particular design. This pattern is their 'signature'."

[from Gita Wolf's Foreword]

One of Tara Books' latest offerings, 'Signature - Patterns in Gond Art', is printed by traditional (modern) means as opposed to their usual hand-made paper and silkscreened products. This in no way detracts from the quality of the content and any slightly ropey appearance in the images above is due to the scanning/upscaling. A few of the signature patterns can be seen below (the image itself is a detail from an appendix legend).

Previous posts on Tara Books: The Night Life of Trees & Folk Cats

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DragonLady said...

Those are cool. They remind me of Zentangles? I think they're called. I think they would be lovely embroidery patterns, too.

Nancy Mattoon said...

I swear these look like weavings--amazing depth and textures. I've never heard of the "Gond" people, and now I want to learn more. Thanks for a beautiful and thought provoking post.

peacay said...

Thanks very much. I was so happy these actually came out. In the book they are really really small so there was a lot of trial and error scanning. I think I ended up at 1200dpi and they each took a few minutes to develop. Crazy.

Aine Scannell said...

Fantastic job Peakay ....oh and thank you also for the lovely post on South American book art. said...

Beautiful images.
You can find many more Gond Art Paintings here:

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